Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 20

We only ended up with 3 days in our homeschool week.  We had an opportunity to have some friends over for a play date on Wednesday so we took off of school.  Love the flexibility of homeschooling!

Week 20 In Our Homeschool

Bible: We completed lessons 89,90, and 91 in Bible Study Guide For All Ages.

History: This week we completed lessons 49-51 on William Shakespeare, Tokugawa Japan, and Sir Francis Bacon and the Age of Reason.  We also completed the time line figures and memory cards to go along with these lessons.  I cannot believe how much history I have learned by reading aloud these lessons in MOH to my children.  I never knew before that there was a theory that William Shakespeare was not the real author of all of those plays and sonnets!  Did you know that?

Science: Last week in Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics we finished reading  chapter 11 on Thermal Energy.  This week we got to do some fun experiments to go along with the chapter, and we also completed the copy work and vocabulary notebooking assignments.

We talked about how heat goes from a warmer source to a colder source and demonstrated this by melting M&M's in our hands.

We did an experiment putting peanut butter on a plastic, metal, and wooden spoon and placing them in hot water to see which one was the best conductor of heat.

 We talked about the 3 things that fire needs and showed what happens when you take away the oxygen.
 We created did an experiment with vinegar, a lit candle, and baking soda.  The loved this one!
 And we built a solar oven and attempted to cook a tortilla.  Unfortunately our reflector got knocked over and by the time we fixed it the sun was much lower in the sky.  We may try it again on the next really sunny day.

Grammar/Writing/Literature: Christian's Lightning Lit book this week was Make Way For  Ducklings.  I love that book and others by Robert McCloskey.  Anthony is still reading Ramona and Her Father.  Nick and Alex did lesson 17 of Fix It! Grammar and started Lesson 14 of IEW Medieval Literature.  This lesson is on writing from pictures.  While my boys do very well with IEW when it comes to key word outlines, writing from pictures is a bit out of their comfort zone (their minds are a bit literal for creative writing), so we will work on this lesson again next week altogether.

Reading/Spelling-Anthony and Christian continued on with lesson 5 in AAR Level 2.  Alex completed Lesson 24 of Level 4 of AAS.

Math- Nick finished lesson 20 of Pre-Algebra.  Anthony and Christian finished lesson 19 of their books.  Alex struggled with lesson 19 of Delta, and actually he struggled with lesson 18 as well.  I have spent a lot of time with him on math the last couple of weeks, so rather than move on and continue struggling, him and I are going to spend next week working on the concepts of lesson 18 and 19, long division, and hope he grasps a better understanding this week, for both of our sakes ;)

My Father's World Creation From A to Z

We only did MFW 2 days this week, Monday and Tuesday.  As I said above we had friends over on Wednesday and we had to leave the house early on Thursday and never got to Lily's work.  So we are still working on insects.  Monday we learned about ants and Tuesday we learned about ladybugs. She did a handwriting page, sound discrimination page, math page, and cut and paste page.  She made an ant badge that says "I am a wise child, so I work hard."  We read the grouchy ladybug and also made a felt ladybug.

Lily made a happy ladybug and a grouchy ladybug out of paper plates to act out this story

Other Activities This Week

Archery was postponed on Monday and moved to Thursday.  Gymnastics was cancelled Tuesday and the class is supposed to be made up next week.

Wednesday we had a great play date at our house.

Thursday we had archery club.  I picked up a friend's little boy on our way and the girls got to stay at their house and play with their little girls.

We were planning on eating pizza at the park, but a cold front literally came blowing through during archery.  Instead we ate in the van.

After that we had a 4 H meeting on money.

Friday is our usual grocery day.  The little girls wanted to go with me, but the boys wanted to stay home. They can do that when Chelsea is home.  First we went to Brookshires to see what was left. It was sad.  The store is pretty much cleaned out.  Then we headed to Walmart.  We were about halfway done when Art called me to see if we wanted to go out to lunch.  We were quite excited to be invited to lunch!  I called Chelsea and told her and asked her to grab the boys something from Sonic.  We met daddy at La Villa.

Saturday we worked on Valentine boxes for our homeschool party that is on February 6th.  I am waiting until next week to post the pictures of those since a few of them are not finished.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nature Seekers 4 H January Meeting

For our first meeting of the new year, I chose money as the topic.  I had found a really cute felt piggy craft on Pinterest that I thought would be something the children would enjoy doing and then went into the 4 H office to find out what kind of information they had to do a program about money.  They had a great program called Money on the Bookshelf that uses different children's books to teach children about using money wisely.  They also had a game.  All I needed was a snack idea and I was all set.

Originally I had planned on having the children sew the felt piggies because we have never done any sewing projects in our club and that was one request I had for a meeting from one of the little girls.  But, I couldn't find any plastic needles that had a point that could go through felt and I have some pretty young children in there that I didn't want to hand regular sewing needles over to.  So instead of sewing the piggies I decided we would hot glue them.  I had hoped the children would be able to trace and cut them themselves, but felt is pretty hard to cut through without very sharp scissors and after testing it on Lily and her getting very frustrated I decided against that and spent a Saturday afternoon tracing and cutting all the little piggies.

At the meeting we usually do the craft last but I decided to do it first because  we were decorating the piggies with glitter glue and I wanted it to have a chance to dry.

Next we sat down and talked about what exactly money is.  We talked about the different items that have been used as money over the years.  I had a bag of play money that we passed around and talked about the value of each bill.  We talked about debit cards too.  Then we read the book Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.

Then we played a game.  We used felt with circles with different amounts of money on it.  The children threw 4 velcro balls trying to get as much money as they could in 4 throws.  There are no pictures of this because my photographers were slacking off ;)

Then we talked about the differences between needs and wants and did a worksheet circling different needs and wants.

Next we did coin rubbings.

Last was snack time.  Lily, Emmie, and I made cupcakes with green icing that we were going to arrange in the shape of a dollar sign.  But, since the door got unlocked late I didn't take the time to do that.  The children didn't mind.

Next month we will be learning about Waterfowl.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Encourage One Another

Have you seen that post floating around social media entitled A Homeschool Confrontation in the Grocery Store?  I have seen it around several places and it is a very well written post about how a homeschool mom handled a rude confrontation with a lot of grace.  Many of us as homeschoolers can relate to that.  I have had numerous confrontations with strangers in the grocery store, family members, and even people in my church. (I will say that on the flip side of that I have had several moments where I have braced myself for the confrontation that I was sure was coming and instead heard some very positive remarks.)  This isn't just an issue that homeschool parents face from those that are against homeschooling.  It's an issue that all parents face on a number of parenting issues.

Parenting Is Hard!

I know you are shocked by that comment :) Right from the very beginning we have to make choices for our children, constant decisions.  It starts out with things like:

What type of carseat, crib, stroller?
Breastfeed or bottle feed?
Give the baby a pacifier or not?
Co-sleep or put the baby in a crib?

Some issues that may seem a little bigger:

Epidural or natural child birth?
Vaccinate or don't vaccinate?
If it's a boy do we circumcise?
Stay at home or daycare?

The list goes on and on and your child hasn't even been born yet!

As the child grows the decisions do not end.

TV or no TV, what kind of shows are ok?
What types of foods are the best?
Sign up for social activities (dance, sports, etc..) or not?
Electronic devices which ones are ok?  How long is ok?

A bigger one:

What kind of schooling for my child?

I'd love to tell you it gets easier after that but we all know it doesn't.  As they grow and get older the decisions can get harder.  Friends, dating, driving, employment, college choices, and so many more. There are so many decisions to make!!!

As a parent, each of us only wants the absolute best for our children.  In the course of this decision making, we don't always know what is the best.  All we can do is what we think is best for our child at that point in time.  Different people determine that different ways: prayer, knowledge, seeking advice from others.  Often we second guess these decisions.  I know I do....often.  What we as parents don't need is someone else second guessing it for us.

What you think is best may not be what is best for someone else.

We get going in this parenting thing, make some decisions for our children that we think are great and sometimes we forget that what is great for us is not great for everyone.  Then we become like the woman in the grocery store, being so nasty to someone just because they made a different choice then we did.  It's not just non homeschoolers being less than nice to homeschoolers.  Homeschoolers can be that way to non homeschoolers, and even to other homeschoolers who have a different homeschooling philosophy!  The same situation can exist between working and stay at home moms, parents who choose to breastfeed and those that choose the bottle, ladies that go through natural child birth and those who get the epidural as soon as they walk through the door, parents who only feed their children organic food and those who eat ramen noodles, etc.., etc..etc.

I could write an endless post on all of the different sides of every issue that we face.  But, instead lets focus on one thing:

Spend time encouraging and building up other parents rather than discouraging and beating them down because their choices are not what YOU think is best.

It's ok to disagree with other parents.  It's ok for them to make different choices than you do.  We need to be respectful and build them up, not beat them down.  Instead of not wanting a child to attend a play group because the family doesn't homeschool, invite them.  Make them feel welcome.  Instead of turning your back on the mom who no longer homeschools, reach out.  Call and ask her how things are going (only if you can be kind if she is having trouble), find a way to include them in things.  Instead of kicking homeschoolers out of a FB group because they have a different homeschool philosophy, listen and learn from each other.

A bit of an aside: If a child comes to your house and there are things that they are not supposed to do, we need to be respectful of that.  Just because Scooby Doo is ok with you it may not be with somebody else.  Respect that parents choices and if you send your child off someplace and there is something that you don't want your child watching or eating, don't forget to mention it ahead of time so that they know rather than being upset later about something that happened that they didn't know :)

I know there are things that we are passionate about.  Two of mine (in the parenting aspect) are homeschooling and breast feeding.  I ALWAYS want to encourage people if I can.  If they are seeking encouragement or have an interest in looking for information.  I do NOT want to make people feel like these are the only "right" choices.  But, if you find yourself in a conversation about something that you have strong opinions about and it becomes more of a confrontation then conversation, change the subject.  If there are people in your life that are consistently discouraging about a particular topic, don't go to them when you need encouragement.  As much as we wish everyone will be encouraging, some just will not be and you do not need that.

We as parents second guess ourselves enough.  We don't need others to do it for us.  We are not going to make the right decision all of the time.  All we can do is the make the decisions we think are best at that time.  If a decision ends up not turning out the way you think it should, give yourself some grace and encouragement.  You are doing the best you can.

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13

 Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 19

January and February can be some of the hardest months to homeschool.  After Christmas fatigue, cold weather, sickness that is going around can cause burnout and turn what normally is a joy into a burden.  If you are feeling that "homeschool burnout" it will pass.  Changing your routine a bit going on a field trip, finding ways to get outside, or even something as simple as declaring a PJ and movie day can all help get through some of the mid year days.  I like this verse "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2-3.

We had a great week in our homeschool this week!

Week 19 in our Homeschool

Bible: One wacky thing that happened is that for some reason my printer and computer decided to stop communicating so I had a terrible time printing out our Bible lessons.  I managed to get the younger ones taken care of but could not get the older ones, so for two days of the week, Nick and Alex did not have worksheets, they just listened in.  We completed lessons 85-88 in Bible Study Guide For All Ages.


In Mystery of History Vol III we completed lessons 46-48 on Sir Walter Raleigh, England Defeats the Spanish Armada, and Michel de Montaigne and the Essays.  We completed the time line figures and memory cards to go along with the lessons.
I thought this was a great picture of Nick working on the time line and Emmie asking him who all the people were.

Science: In Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics we completed the reading for Chapter 11 on Thermal Energy.  It has been easier for me to do all of the reading in one week and then go back and do the journal assignments and experiments the next week instead of stopping reading every few paragraphs to do an experiment and then go back and do more reading.

Grammar/Writing/Literature: Christian's Lightning Lit assignments this week were based on Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  I had never read this book before.  My children were especially impressed with it because the main character is Alexander and his brothers are Anthony and Nicholas (the same names as my 3 oldest sons.)  They all really liked this book.  Anthony is reading Ramona and Her Father for his Lightning Literature and his workbook assignments have been on pronouns.  In the book, Ramona's dad brings home gummy bears for a special treat, so we bought a bag of gummy bears the other day.  Anthony was thrilled!  and the other children were happy too :)  Nick and Alex did lesson 16 of Fix It! Grammar and lesson 13 of IEW Medieval Writing.

Reading/Spelling: I completely forgot to do spelling with Alex this week because I spent a lot of time on Math with him.  Anthony and Christian started working on Lesson 5 of AAR Level 2.  I was so excited that my new readers arrived on Friday!

Math: Alex, Anthony, and Christian finished Lesson 18 of their Math books and Nick finished Lesson 19 of Pre-Algebra.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z

We finished the lesson on Water and the letter "w." We finished the experiment turning water from a liquid to a solid back to a liquid and then to a gas.  We finished making a chart on solid, liquids, and gases.

We also did an experiment on dissolving things into water.  We dissolved salt into one glass.

And then showed that oil would not dissolve into water.

She completed her word list page, blend ladder page, drawing page, and cut and paste page.  We read the book Make Way For the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.  We also made Wiggly Worm Trail Mix.

Since we finished "W" on Wednesday we started the next Unit, Unit 11 on Insects on Thursday.  We used our lapbook that we made at Grandview to review some information on insects, worked on a picture card envelope for the letter "i" and completed our Bible lesson.  We had already gotten our ants for our ant farm a few weeks ago.

Other Activities This Week: Archery was cancelled on Monday because of the holiday.  It was postponed until Tuesday at the exact same time as gymnastics.  A friend that was going volunteered to take the boys and I could head out there after gymnastics was over.  I dropped the boys off to my friend, dropped Lily off to gymnastics and then ran to the 4 H office to turn in Record Books and get some things taken care of for my meeting this week.  We ran back to pick Lily up and headed to Grandview, and they got finished right as we got there.  The weather that day was beautiful by the way which figures that it would be pretty the day I wasn't standing out there!

Wednesday and Thursday we stayed home!!

Christian built this.  It's the  Eiffel Tower, the small one from Las Vegas. (line from Despicable Me)

Friday we had a play date with some friends at the house.  That night we enjoyed pizza and a movie.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Friday, January 23, 2015

ABC Snacks Eating Your Way Through the Alphabet: Wiggly Worm Trail Mix

*this post contains affiliate links

Last year, I shared about the new series  All About Reading had posted called ABC Snacks Eating Your Way Through the Alphabet to go along with their Pre Reading Program.  There is a snack to go along with each letter of the alphabet designed just for little hands to make.  After printing out all of the snacks, you can put together a cookbook just for your child.  There are also teaching tips, book suggestions and tips for Pre-Reading on each snack.  The girls LOVED this!  We did a few of the letters last year, but we had already finished All About Reading Pre 1 and after a few weeks, it was one of those things that kind of fell to the side with all of the other things we were doing.

But, the girls have been asking about it.  This year we are using My Father's World Creation from A to Z which teaches a new letter every 6 days along with a corresponding Bible and Science theme.  So, we are going to use this snack list to go along with each of our My Father's World letters.  Last week we made the Obvious Octopus Hotdog which the girls loved and have requested over and over again since then.

This week our letter is "W" so we made some Wiggly Worm Trail Mix.

We used

Teddy Grahams
Gummy Worms

The girls put a half cup of each item in a bowl and mixed it up, adding the worms last.

The boys heard us in the dining room and came to investigate.  They decided they wanted to help.  Even the two oldest boys showed up, but somehow avoided the picture.

We gave a scoop to each person for our afternoon snack.  They even saved some for daddy when he got home.  This snack was a big hit!

Check out all of the other ABC Snacks!

*This post contains affiliate links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Description 

"Willowgrove Hall is full of secrets, but soon everything hidden is brought to light. Cecily Faire has a secret-and she intends to keep it. But when she arrives at Willowgrove Hall to serve as a lady's companion, she comes face-to-face with the only person who knows the truth about her past. As the steward of Willowgrove Hall, Nathaniel Stanton is dedicated to serving those around him. Nothing escapes his notice-including the beautiful new lady's companion. He is certain the lovely Miss Faire is hiding something, and he determines to uncover it. But Nathaniel has a secret of his own: he is the illegitimate son of Willowgrove's former master. Falling in love was not part of his plans . . . until he meets Cecily Faire. When Willowgrove's mistress dies, everything changes. Fear of exposure forces Cecily to leave under the cover of darkness, embarking on a journey to finally find her long-lost sister. When the will is read, Nathaniel's inheritance makes him question his future plans. Cecily and Nathaniel are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Is their love strong enough to survive?"

I had an opportunity to review The Heiress of Winterwood, the first book in this series and I was hoping that it would be a series because I really enjoyed it.  When I saw this book up for review, something sounded familiar and I discovered that this was book three and I had missed book 2.  So I went ahead and bought book two before reading book three so I could for a change read an entire series in order :).  Honestly though, you could read any of these books without reading the others and it would not be an issue.  Each book is about completely different characters and there is very little mention of the characters in the other books at all.  This honestly disappointed me.  I had hoped there would be more to Graham and Amelia's story that I so loved in the first book, but they were only briefly mentioned in book 2 and not at all in book 3.  Aside from my disappointment about that, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall was a wonderful story.  It was a great story about forgiveness, not just giving it but accepting it as well.  It also is a great story about your past not deciding your future.

I would recommend any or all of the books in the Whispers on the Moors series.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 18

Illness struck our house this week messing up our homeschool plans somewhat.  Alex started running fever and showing a few other symptoms that were "flu like" so I ran him to get checked out on Tuesday morning.  He did not have a flu test but he was prescribed Tamiflu along with the rest of the house.  Tamiflu is not cheap by the way and would've cost me over $300 for everyone, plus I question whether or not it is good to take it to try and prevent yourself from being sick  So I only filled it for Alex who was better by Wednesday evening and so far no one else in the house has come down with anything, but as we do not live in a bubble and are around people all of the time we could've been exposed numerous times since then.  I did cancel our Grandview day and art co-op that was supposed to be on Wednesday because even though Chelsea was home I didn't want to be gone all day expecially if Alex was feeling bad.  We continued with our regular work the whole week except for Tuesday and Alex was excused the whole week and quarantined to the couch.

Week 18 in Our Homeschool

Bible: We completed lessons 82, 83, and 84 in Bible Study Guide For All Ages.

History: In Mystery of History Vol III We did lessons 43-45 on Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, Sir Francis Drake, and William the Silent.  We also did the timeline figures and memory cards for this lesson.

Here is a photo of our timeline figures for Vol II and III.  We use the figures from Amy Pak from Home School in the Woods and place them on a tri fold board.

Science:  We finished reading Chapter 10 in Exploring Creation Through Chemistry and Physics on Light of the World.  We had an opportunity to do some experiments with light and completed the vocabulary and copywork assignments to go along with the chapter.

Grammar/Writing/Literature: Nick got a free pass this week since Alex wasn't feeling well and did not have to do writing or grammar.  I accidentally skipped ahead a chapter in Christian's Lightning Lit and we did Chapter 18 on Mother Goose Rhymes this week.  Next week I will go back to the chapter we missed :) Anthony started reading Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Clearly for his Lightning Literature this week.

Spelling/Reading: No spelling for Alex this week.  Anthony and Christian worked out Lesson 4 of AAR Level 2.  This was their first time to read a story and I did not know until we started the lesson that I had an out dated edition of the readers because I purchased them so long ago.  After an email to the company, I learned I could mail the old ones back and they would do an even exchange for the new ones!  They even emailed me the copy of the story I needed for this week :)  I wrote a post about why I started using AAR that you can find here. We also went over the corresponding spelling lesson.

Math: Anthony and Christian finished Lesson 17 of their Math U See levels and Nick finished Lesson 18 of Pre-Algebra.

My Father's World Creation From A to Z

This week's unit is on the letter "w" with water for the theme.  The Bible lesson is "Jesus gives my spirit living water to drink."  We have only done 3 days of the unit so far.  We have discussed water and it's three forms: solid, liquid, and gas and made a chart showing the three forms.  She also did an experiment turning liquid water into a solid and back to a liquid again.  She has also done worksheets writing the letter w,made a picture envelope for w, completed a sound discrimination page for w, worked on a math sheet on pennies, nickels, and dimes, and made a water badge.

Other Activities this Week:

Monday we had archery club.  I did not take a single picture because I was too COLD!  My double layers of clothing, hooded sweatshirt with a coat over top and gloves were not enough to keep me warm!  I had to stand out there in the cold too because I was filling in for the coach who was home sick.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr!  Thankfully the girls were able to sit in warm vehicle during practice and the boys could also when it wasn't their turn to shoot.

Tuesday Lily had gymnastics and I really need to get some new photos of her now that I have a new camera :)

Wednesday and Thursday were stay home days.

Friday the weather was much nicer than it had been .  We decided to have a picnic in the park with some homeschool friends.  It was warmer, but still a bit chilly.  We had been there almost an hour when 4 buses full of children pulled up.  We quickly started gathering our stuff and heading for the vehicle as children came pouring off the buses.  We had fun for the little while we were there and hopefully will have some more park play dates when the warmer weather is here to stay.  We also went to the library while we were in town since we had not been since before Christmas.

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Happy Homeschooling!